Keep customers coming back

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  • 26/06/2015
More and more customers are using smartphones as ways to buy event tickets.

When determining how to improve ticket sales, studying data and information helps. Knowing who your customers are, what their budget is, which types of performances they like and how to improve their experience at the venue will hopefully keep them coming back time and time again. Collecting those answers can be complicated, but there are ways to go about it, from mining ticket sales data to customer surveys following an event.

Yet after all that comes the real hard part: taking all of data you have collected and turning it into real changes for a venue. Consider these strategies when studying customer information:

Location, location, location
Any strategy to boost ticket sales should start with an evaluation of what drives an individual customer to make a purchase, Ticketing Today reported.  And just like in real estate, a top priority in ticket sales is proximity and convenience. When deciding between two places to go, many customers will opt for the venue closest to their home or work.

Because entering an address is required when filing out a credit card payment on most online ticketing systems, venues have the information of where customers live. Create a map of where customers are coming from, and look for trends in that data, such as specific neighborhoods where a lot of tickets are being sold to. That can help focus a marketing plan and help reach more people looking for tickets.

Going mobile
It used to be that buying tickets over the phone meant a customer would call in to speak with someone at the venue. Now, because of advanced box office ticketing software, an over-the-phone purchase implies using a smartphone application to buy tickets directly through the mobile device.

If a venue knows that many of its customers use smartphones to purchase tickets, that can be valuable information. So many Americans are attached to their phones at all times, and when using a smartphone, it is a pretty safe bet that many are using applications. In fact, 86 percent of the time people are on their phones, they are using an app, according to a 2014 survey by TechCrunch.

Creating and promoting an application is an effective way for a venue to keep customers loyal. Posting up-to-date calendar information and a direct way to buy seats will hopefully result in people downloading and checking the app and, in turn, continuing to purchase tickets.

Encourage customer referrals
Once you know who a loyal customer is, make sure they are telling others about the venue and all of its benefits. Unlike an anonymous online review, which can be easily ignored, a first-hand recommendation serves a lot of value, according to David Bell, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He said that one recommendation can easily lead to another, leading to more customers for a venue. 

"It's about referrals," Bell said in an interview with BizBash. "So if I referred something to you, the number one virtue is it's going to be relevant to you, so you are probably better than some random customer. I've already selected you—the selection effect. And number two, because that's how you learned about it, you are more likely to do the same thing and refer it to someone else. That's the treatment effect. So those are two really important benefits."

Many establishments offer rewards programs or other benefits for returning customers, along with discounts for referrals and positive online reviews. These types of programs can increase business at a venue and allow a box office to keep collecting data about patrons. 

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